In Part 1 of our Job Search Series, I told you about The Hidden Job Market and the concept of using Six Degrees of Separation and networking to help you tap into jobs before they are posted.
In this article, we will focus on the practical application of utilizing your First Degree Contacts to network with Second Degree Contacts.
So how do I get started?
- First make a list of your First Degree Contacts (FDC) to include all their contact information:
- Former Co-workers
- People you come into regular contact with
- Second, schedule time with them to talk about where you are in your career, what you would like to do, and where your interests lie. Let them know that you are looking to connect with others they feel can offer you guidance on your search.
- Third, make a list of the FDC’s contacts that might be willing to meet with you regarding your job search. These will be your Second Degree Contacts (SDC).
- Lastly, ask your FDC if they would send an introduction to the SDC on your behalf. This intro should let the SDC know that their friend/contact is in need of career advice and that the FDC thought they would be a great person to speak with.
This is your selling proposition to get the Second Degree Contacts to meet/speak with you.
I find that most people enjoy guiding and helping others. By using the term “career advice” you are inviting someone to spend time with you versus simply asking if they have any jobs available. It gets your foot in the door and helps build relationships that can lead to your Third Degree Contact.
I know this can sound a bit confusing so let me demonstrate how I put this into practice:
I contacted a former colleague and friend Becky (FDC), to discuss my job search situation. I told her that since I had not searched for a job in a long time, I really needed some advice on how to job search effectively. I asked Becky if she could recommend someone that might be able to help me put a search plan together.
Becky gave me a list of several contacts (names, contact info, companies they worked for, and brief history) that she thought might be able to help and said she would reach out to them to let them know I would be contacting them.
One of the contacts that turned out to be very beneficial was her boss Tom. Tom (SDC) told her that he would be glad to meet with me. Since he was located in another part of the country, we set up a time to talk via phone. Tom was very helpful in giving me pointers about searching for a job in today’s environment. He even suggested that his boss (TDC/Third Degree Contacts) could be a valuable resource and offered to bring us together.
This conversation with Tom really buoyed my confidence when contacting other Second Degree Contacts.
Stay tuned for the next article in the Job Search Series in which we will discuss working with Third Degree Contacts